Books Magazine

A Dangerous Fortune #BriFri

By Joyweesemoll @joyweesemoll

British Isles Friday logoWelcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!

Last week, I reviewed Trash Macbeth. Tina shared a book about Yorkshire featuring the haunts of James Herriot, veterinarian and author. Jean updated her progress on the Faerie Queene and reviewed The September Society. Jackie shared photos of her 2005 summer trip to London, complete with pigeons in Trafalgar Square. Sim visited the Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park during her virtual walk through London. Becky reviewed Mary Poppins (the book) and Everland.

Book: A Dangerous Fortune by Ken Follett
Genre: historical novel
Publisher: Dell
Publication date: 1993
Pages: 576

Source: from the library as an e-book

A Dangerous Fortune by Ken Follett
Ken Follett’s chunkster about 19th century England, featuring a boys school, a bank, and a crooked diplomat.

Summary: A Dangerous Fortune begins with the unexpectedly dangerous antics of school boys at a boarding school and then follows their lives into adulthood as they became powerful men in English banking and South American politics in the 19th century. The treachery, of course, only deepens as the stakes rise.

Thoughts: My brother got on Follett kick recently and wanted me to join in since his books work so well for my British Isles Friday wanderings. I resisted for a while. Eye of the Needle was probably the first adult thriller that I ever read, at age 16 or 17. I was completely engrossed and utterly terrified. I’ve never read another Follett book since. Although, now that I think of it, I’m sure that I’d find it quite tame these days — it’s just that I had never been exposed to that sort of story before.

A Dangerous Fortune is more of a historical novel, although it has definite thriller elements to it. The banking portions are surprisingly fun to read and relevant to the present day, since the words “too big to fail” showed up in the news again just last month. Follett’s cast of characters is large and colorful. Sometimes I fault male authors for their female characters, but I was happy with his selection of women who bettered themselves in the only ways available to them in 19th century England, while making realistic assessments of the pros and cons of their options.

Appeal: A Dangerous Fortune will please Anglophiles, history lovers, and mild thrill seekers

Have you read Ken Follett’s books? What did you think?

Signature of Joy Weese Moll

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